DONALD A. BEHLE served as associate judge of from 1999 until he resigned in 2007, two months after the Judicial Inquiry Board accused him of improper relationships with two women whose cases were assigned to him. He is scheduled to receive $41,573.40 in pension this year from the state.
What the judge did: While he was overseeing custody issues in a 2003 divorce case, Associate Judge Donald Behle obtained the phone number of the wife in the case and dated her even while he retained authority of the case, according to an inquiry board complaint. Two years later, Behle began regular conversations with the sister of a woman whose custody case he was hearing, and left the sister’s name off the docketed list of witnesses who testified, the complaint also states.
What the Judicial Inquiry Board said: In December, 2006, the Judicial Inquiry Board filed the complaint against Behle, charging him with failing to conduct himself in a manner that promotes integrity in the judiciary, with allowing relationships to affect his judicial conduct or judgment, and for failing to disqualify himself from a case in which his impartiality could reasonably be questioned.
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What happened next: Two months later, Behle resigned from his position.
What the Illinois Courts Commission decided: The commission dismissed the case once Behle resigned, following the commission’s prior rulings that it lacks jurisdiction over former judges.
Where he is today: Behle is licensed to practice law in Bloomington, Illinois and is to receive $41,573.40 in pension this year, state records show.